7.3/10
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At 3:25 (1924)

Paris qui dort (original title)
Unrated | | Short, Sci-Fi | 1927 (USA)
A scientist's invisible ray freezes Paris into immobility.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Henri Rollan ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Martinelli ...
The scientist (as Martinelli)
Louis Pré Fils ...
Detective
...
The pilot
Madeleine Rodrigue ...
Hesta, the airline passenger
...
The niece / daughter of the scientist
Antoine Stacquet ...
The rich man (as Stacquet)
Marcel Vallée ...
International thief
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Storyline

Early roots of sci-fi magic are given to us in the form of a scientist who invents a ray that makes people caught in its beam fall asleep where they stand. With magical and wonderful shots of a Paris long gone, it is the adventure of a group of unaffected who with their sudden freedoms play the game of mice while the cat is away. With a narrative that sways toward a moralistic stance on the principles of fair play and responsibility, this little science fiction fable can still be poignant today as when the magnificent views were first shot from the dizzy heights of the Eiffel Tower. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

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Release Date:

1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

At 3:25  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This film is featured on the Criterion Collection DVD for Sous les toits de Paris (1930). See more »

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User Reviews

 
A foundation for contemporary films
6 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's always nice to watch various films from a relatively long time ago in order to get a grasp of what set the standards for the discourses of today. "Paris qui dort" is a science fiction short which establishes several motifs of today's science fiction fancy.

Paris sleeps. People who were high above the ground, either in the Eiffel Tower or in an airplane come down to find a city almost frozen in time. Water, machines, regular things move, it's just that all the people are asleep. The characters then get to live their wildest dreams of freedom and riches until it just starts to not work out for them.

Some images, such as the initial main character's approach to a fountain, are immediately recognized as used in 28 Days Later... The sleeping people are often set in the same sort of not-quite-frozen, not-quite animated set-up that's later used in Dark City. It's interesting to see such images become inspiration for entire other works we recognize today.

Unfortunately, the short itself hardly feels able to stand on its own anymore. The initial shot of a static Paris has cars moving at the edge of the frame. The characters' own boredom unfortunately connects well with the modern audiences own. However, it's still creative and interesting enough to be worthy of recognition and to be respected for what it's done.

--PolarisDiB


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